Joint Security forces torture three indigenous Papuans in Sorong Selatan

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According to the independent media outlet ‘Suara Papua’, joint security forces tortured three indigenous Papuans who were on their way to the town of Teminabuan, the largest city in the regency of Sorong Selatan. On 16 August 2020, Saulus Melkior Wugaje, Dominggus Aifufu and Chiko Momot removed a fallen tree that was blocking the road. While doing this, one of them collected donations from drivers passing through. Such actions are common in West Papua where government services are passive and unreliable. Instead, local community members often take the initiative to clean or fix public roads against public donations.

When a car with two plain cloth police officers passed the site without giving donations, Chiko Momot angrily banged the car with his hand. The police officers reacted by jumping out of the car and attacking Chicko Momot. Saulus Wugaje and Dominggus Aifufu stepped in to help their friend. A brawl between the two parties developed. The police officers finally retreated and drove away. Shortly after the incident, Saulus Melkior Wugaje, Dominggus Aifufu and Chiko Momot continued their walk towards Teminabuan.

In the afternoon, the two police officers involved in the incident earlier, together with a military member intercepted Saulus Melkior Wugaje, Dominggus Aifufu and Chiko Momot and attacked them with bare hands. The security force members stopped the beatings after a group of witnesses demanded to stop the violence. The victims sustained bruises in the face and the body as a consequence of the assault (see intro image, source: ‘Suara Papua’).